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Plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation of the Plantar fascia (a fibrous sheath that runs most of the length of the sole of the foot), usually at the point where it attaches to the heel bone. It is a common cause of heel pain in runners. Pain is common over the inside of the heel and usually radiates down the inside of the sole of the foot. The pain usually occurs with activity and is also typically present in the morning when taking the first steps of the day.
Inadequate footwear is often implicated in Plantar fasciitis. Shoes should provide adequate support for the foot during running. Unsuitable footwear can increase strain of the Plantar fascia and lead to the development of inflammation.
There may be a problem with the biomechanics of the foot, which contributes to the problem. The usual findings are a foot that 'over pronates', where the inner arch of the foot rolls over too much during walking and running. This can lead to tightness in the Achilles tendon and recent research has suggested that a tight Achilles tendon can increase strain on the Plantar fascia.
Insoles that support the arch on the inner side of the foot can be helpful for limiting excessive pronation and relieving stress on the Plantar fascia and Achilles tendon.
Plantar fasciitis settles with conservative treatment in 95% of cases. Conservative treatment, such as physiotherapy, aims to reduce local inflammation and address any biomechanical problems. While the Plantar fascia is still painful it may be treated with ice packs (never apply ice directly to the skin) and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by a doctor. Once the pain has subsided, stretching the Plantar fascia (by pulling the toes towards the shin) is effective in encouraging the tissue to regain its normal alignment.
The Aircast AirHeel can be very effective in relieving heel pain due to Plantar Fasciitis. By applying compression to the heel and the arch of the foot, the AirHeel relieves strain on the area under the heel that is commonly affected by Plantar Fasciitis. This can give instant relief to those suffering with Plantar Fasciitis.
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